French Private Equity in H1 2020
In the 1st half of 2020, the level of French private equity activity remained high, supporting the economy during the crisis
- €7.4 billion raised: institutional investors and savers increased their allocations
- €7.7 billion invested: a new high, in 1,050 start-ups, SMEs and mid-caps
- More than 650 companies sold, in whole or in part
France Invest (Association of Investors for Growth) and Grant Thornton are today presenting the 33rd edition of the activity report on French private equity companies for the first half of 2020.
With 91% of respondents out of the 285 members of France Invest surveyed, this study is the benchmark for monitoring over a long period the trends in French private equity, a contributor to the growth of start-ups, SMEs and mid-caps.
Dominique Gaillard, Chairman of France Invest: “In a situation where the health crisis had a severe impact on economic activity, resulting in unprecedented uncertainty, French private equity firms continued to be very present in the first half of 2020 and enabled companies to finance their development. In contrast to the 2008-2009 crisis, when the amounts raised and invested collapsed, activity at the start of this year remained very strong.
In addition, from the spring of 2021, private equity professionals will also participate in the French government’s recovery plan. Over 24 months, they will strengthen the balance sheet of 2,000 to 2,500 SMEs and mid-caps affected by the crisis and with the capacity to bounce back. Our ambition is for them to contribute to a substantial part of the €20 billion announced by the French Ministry of the Economy and Finance, along with all their non-financial know-how to put these companies on a sustainable growth trajectory.”
 Private debt, infrastructure and foreign funds are not included in the scope of the study.
Thierry Dartus, Partner, Transaction Advisory Services at Grant Thornton: “While the lockdown caused an unprecedented halt in economic activity in the last six months, we must welcome the driving role of private equity in supporting the development of more than 1,000 companies, which were thrown into a very difficult situation, while taking measures to help their cash flow.
Now, in an environment increasingly marked by uncertainties regarding the “second wave” or no-deal Brexit, investment must complement the French government’s €100 billion recovery plan to strengthen companies’ equity and thereby restore a virtuous and sustainable development path as quickly as possible.“